Sunday, June 17, 2012

exams and assessments

For many days now i've been pondering over the significance of exams, assignments and some other forms of assessments in our lives.

And no matter how long and hard i try to rationalize matters, i can't help feeling that these upcoming exams and the marks from completed assignments will not matter much, or even matter at all if i die right before the exam, during the exam, or a bit after the exam. They're useless and of absolute no use both for me and to those whom i leave behind.

But i am still thriving, still working for the exams just in case i continue living long enough to face the consequences of having bad marks. And mention must be made on what accounts as 'bad'. Everyone else have various ways of assessing me. The lecturers in warwick grade me according to the university's stardarised marking-fair enough. Lecturers back in Malaysia take into account the printed marks and add them to their comparisons of us to our seniors. Is it safe to assume that they also compare us to our juniors? Perhaps it is fair enough to say that to some extend these comparisons, when done objectively, may indicate some kind of improvement/decline in performance which can in the future be used to bring more progress. Then I have all my family and friends. Friends who ever so often think the best of me when it comes to grades =). Thanks friends, each time someone says 'Kak long mesti dapat markah tinggi. Kak long mesti ok punye. etc' [translation= you'll sure get high marks. You'll surely do fine]. Each of those utterance are insyaAllah a form of dua, maybe even a reason why i do sometimes do ok... so they're much appreciated. And anyone else whom i've left...they have various ways of assessing me-from comparisons, to their own created standards, to counting how many marks i didn't get instead of seeing how many marks i've successfully many different ways..i've had people in my life who make so much fuss when i get marks like 97,98 or 99..of course this was during primary school, i cant even dream of getting marks like that now. now that i'm all grown up, and insyaAllah a teeny weeny bit more knowledgable, i cant help feeling what a shame it is that people see the little that i missed and failed to achieve (just 2-3 marks duh!) and at times become so oblivious to the fact that i do achieve something..sigh..

Which is why, i live by my own standards now (for as long as it complies with the Quran and Sunnah). I'm certain, not doing well in an exam/assignment is not a sin. We shouldn't judge others, but we can judge ourselves. I'll judge myself. The numbers and any other comments i get is for ME to accept or reject. Evaluation of improvement and decline in my performance is for ME to make based on various factors, ie, the marks, the comments i get from my lecturers, my overall understanding of lessons and my health conditions and any other factors that could affect my performance. Besides Allah, no one else know and understand me and all i go through besides me, myself and i. AND...there's still that fact that death could make all this so insignificant.

I know there are many people with mix feelings and probably a high level of stress over exams. A humble advice, take a moment to reflect on what really defines you. There are much more to the marks than just the numbers printed on our results. And for my fellow comrade future teachers, the success of many others depend on our success in TEACHING not just in scoring. Our real evaluation and exam starts a few years more, when we step into our careers. What we're going through now is just a preparation..Good luck everyone..

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